By Sherry Antonetti
Lately, I’ve been asking people who support the HHS mandate and who argue against the position of the Little Sisters of the Poor, to give me their reasoning. Here are my responses to the four most common arguments against the Little Sisters:
1: The creed of the employer should not dictate the opportunities of the employee.
Response: Employers dictate dress code, working hours, assignments, all sorts of things which the employee might prefer otherwise. They do it outside of their creed, but they do it. Ergo, it is only because it is a religious conviction that the people putting forth this argument object.
2: Not allowing for alternative belief choices via insurance is tantamount to prostelytizing one’s faith.
Response: Again, no. Employment is an at will experience, and therefore the person going into the job has full knowledge of their employer and chose their employer. They’ve hired on to a Catholic institution, with Catholic sensibilities. Interviewing for a group called “The Little Sisters of the Poor” should have been something of a clue.
3: If the government grants this exception there will be countless others.
Response: This argument is absurd given that the majority of the country, not to mention religions, affirm and accept birth control as de rigueur. This exception should not harm the government’s attempt to ensure free or inexpensive birth control for all who so desire. The Little Sisters of the Poor, on the other hand, have been willing to forego their mission if need be, to not deny their faith. That is the level of conviction we’re talking about here. The Little Sisters of the Poor have been willing to take on the Government and face $70 million in fines rather than change their belief system.
There haven’t been and to my knowledge aren’t other religious organizations/non-profits, etc out there fighting tooth and nail and willing to die as an entity for the sake of another exemption to one small aspect of health care insurance. Nor is the government forcing any other religion in particular, and its associates, to go directly against their teachings. Our country wasn’t a national Catholic Caliphate before the HSS Mandate passed, and isn’t now, nor will it become one for allowing the Sisters and the co-plaintiffs to have an exemption.
4: Employers pay their employees. They’re enabling the employees to go buy birth control or abortion. How come the Little Sisters are okay with that reality, how is one benefit (insurance) more morally culpable than another (pay)?
Response: The government does not set how much you may pay someone, only how little. The work/just wage is for the services provided, and for the person who worked, to use toward other goods, —food, housing, clothing, recreation, etc. What the person does with the money, is a question of free will. Insurance however is a means of providing direct moral ills, and thus it would be morally akin to purchasing cigarettes for minors, alcohol for an addict. The third party component is not released just because it is a third party from the moral consequences of those actions.
Sherry Antonetti is a published author, freelance writer, blogger and full time mother to ten children including one son with special needs. When she’s not writing articles or driving her kids somewhere, you can reach her via her email, sherryantonettiwrites@yahoo.